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Several family members and their huge houses

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
So recently several family members who already had big newer homes bought even bigger newer beautiful homes with pools etc... I'm happy for them that they are happy. They work hard for what they have. They had the feeling that they needed "more room". OK, whatever. 3500 sq ft for a family of four? That would be a palace for us!

But part of me is envious. We live in an older home (everything needs fixing) 2 bed 1 bath. We're a family of six. I am blessed to have a house to begin with! I will be visiting these families in about another month. I feel like their homes are a sign of their accomplishments in life which is frustrating because dh and I work so hard. I wonder if they look at us and think we're losers.

Just had to get that off my chest. I'm truly excited for them. But my evil twin head reappears and says some not so nice things.
post #2 of 57
Try not to judge. If they can clean it, pay for it and are happy... why should you care?

I have a family of four. I increased my home by renovation from 1800 sq feet to 2300 sq feet. This makes a huge difference in the quality of our lives. My kids have an office for their computers and homework. My guests have a guest bed and I one more powder room/bathroom in the house that casual visitors use. No need for folks to see my birth control pills or my feminine products.
post #3 of 57
Thread Starter 
Guest bathroom would be great! Not knocking them, really just feel sort of like a failure because I can't provide such a nice house for my own kids. I know we will visit and they will say, "I wish we could have a house like this." And you know I'm thinking the same thing!
post #4 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethla View Post
So recently several family members who already had big newer homes bought even bigger newer beautiful homes with pools etc... I'm happy for them that they are happy. They work hard for what they have. They had the feeling that they needed "more room". OK, whatever. 3500 sq ft for a family of four? That would be a palace for us!

But part of me is envious. We live in an older home (everything needs fixing) 2 bed 1 bath. We're a family of six. I am blessed to have a house to begin with! I will be visiting these families in about another month. I feel like their homes are a sign of their accomplishments in life which is frustrating because dh and I work so hard. I wonder if they look at us and think we're losers.

Just had to get that off my chest. I'm truly excited for them. But my evil twin head reappears and says some not so nice things.
We have an older home, too. We are a family of six. We work hard to fix all the stuff that our house needs and it never seems to end. We get looked down upon too, fwiw.

But....our children are kind, honest, responsible, smart, and fun. Our marriage has weathered a lot and is strong, honest, and intimate. We love God deeply and try to love others well. THAT IS ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE.

I will say that I have my moments where I see the dishonest and mean getting away with so much and/or amassing wealth from dishonest means. It is hard to see arrogant people flaunt around while their children are suffering.

But if that is not what is going on with your extended family...please try not to compare or be jealous. If they love their children well and are honest and kind people....who cares what size house they live in. If they actually look down on you...that would mean that they are not as kind as they appear.
post #5 of 57
I really doubt they will look down on you for having a smaller home. That's silly. Try not to worry about what they think, just enjoy your visit with them. I do think if you find yourself feeling jealous, it's a normal emotion. I mean, like the "I would love to have this much space" kind of jealousy, not the kind that depresses you or harbors ill feeling towards your family members.
post #6 of 57
If they look down on you for having a smaller home then shame on them.

I say go, enjoy the company and try to look past the envy part.
post #7 of 57
Can I just join the vent, if that's what it was? Most of my siblings have much bigger, nicer homes than I do. . .my sister keeps nagging me to come out to visit her family and my parents (they live near each other) on the opposite side of the country. And I explained that our extra money is going towards home repairs. So she says, "Oh! We have to make that choice too, and it's so hard, but we really think visiting family/traveling is worth it. . ."

Seriously? Her home was a brand-new, half-million dollar home in an area where real estate is cheaper than where we live. Her home is somewhere around 4000 sq feet - more than twice the size of our house! So what if everything is still "builder's beige?" She doesn't understand living in a 30-year-old home that has not been well maintained, and having to live with the stained, yucky carpet of the previous occupants. So it kinda irks me when she pretends we're in the same boat. WE'RE NOT.

But I try to remember that none of this is important, in the long run. . .
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
If they look down on you for having a smaller home then shame on them.
This.

DH and I also have a family of six. We live in a 1250 sq.ft. townhouse (maybe a row house? I've discovered that different home types are called different things in different places). We have almost no storage space. I look at some of dh's friends, who live in large-ish houses, with smaller familes, and sometimes I feel a twinge. I look at some of my friends, who didn't even manage their money as well as I did when we were younger (but who also have no kids and didn't make a financially disastrous first marriage), but who own their own places, and I feel a twinge.

But, occasionally feeling as though I'm a failure is one thing. Having someone else look down on me for my lack of material success is something else again.
post #9 of 57
I think anyone should feel free to add to the vent. And it is vent-worthy.

I have a nice (I think anyways) house but I get house envy all the time. A friend just bought a new house. I think it is about 100 sq feet bigger than mine - so really the same size. And the layout would never work for us. But it is gorgeous and has great character and she has the most awesome laundry room I've ever seen. Of course I walked through there with envy. But not the green-eyed monster kind, just the wishful kind.

Lately my big thing is landscaping envy.
post #10 of 57
mama get that thought out of your head. stop that poor me thingy. it really will eat you up.

yeah it will be hard. you will have to do a lot of selp discipline where thinking is concerned, but it is doable.

you just never, never know. they may find something in you that they are completely envious of and would rather have that instead of their huge properties. look back and see what kind of compliments they have paid you.

i have a friend like that. million dollar house with everything. yet she envies my roommate poor situation because my life is not as complicated as hers. she would love to simplify her life, but she is not willing to give up what it takes to do so and feels trapped sometimes. and i envy her because she has been able to take her kids to disneyland multiple times and i havent still been able to afford to take my almost 8 year old to disneyland even once. its ONE place my dd really wants to go. its the one thing she has ever wanted. her personality is not a disneyland kinda one. maybe legoland, but not disneyland. and i want to take her at least once to go and get over it.

so to each his own.

just go there, see it as a vacation and enjoy yourself.

to each his own.
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
I think anyone should feel free to add to the vent. And it is vent-worthy.

I have a nice (I think anyways) house but I get house envy all the time. A friend just bought a new house. I think it is about 100 sq feet bigger than mine - so really the same size. And the layout would never work for us. But it is gorgeous and has great character and she has the most awesome laundry room I've ever seen. Of course I walked through there with envy. But not the green-eyed monster kind, just the wishful kind.

Lately my big thing is landscaping envy.

Me, too! When I go inside other homes in our area (some are bigger, some aren't) I get jealous about their furniture, or pool, or outdoor kitchen. Really, I think is normal. I'm sure there are people living in multimillionaire homes who feel envy at times.

The feeling superior or looking down on others thing isn't cool. But I really hope the OP family members don't have those thoughts. I bet they'd be mortified that someone suspected it.
post #12 of 57
I used to think I'd want a huge house. turns out the 2000 sq ft "starter home" we bought is too much for me to handle. I can't keep up with the cleaning. We're looking at downsizing. A single bathroom would be one less than I currently have to clean on a regular basis. It's all in your perspective
post #13 of 57
I get the same way, especially with all the trouble this house has given us. We have a perfectly awesome house in a prefectly awful town, that won't sell, yet we live here in this tiny junkhole so we can be close to everything we need to do. I feel like we can't win.

In our situation it almost always comes down to how much money somebody gave the people I am envious of, where we have done it ALL by ourselves. I like that feeling.
post #14 of 57
I think its perfectly normal to be envious or jealous of folks who have something you want. But I think a PP phrased it well- you should try to keep your feelings in the "wishful" realm, not the "crazy green-eyed monster" realm.

Plus, you don't know what's going on behind their closed doors. Maybe they're 120% financed and can't really afford their big house. Maybe they have zillions of dollars of credit card debt. Maybe they feel stuck in jobs they hate just so they can keep making their house payments.

You just never know. Try to enjoy your vacation.
post #15 of 57
I'm just envious of everyone who actually owns their home. We have a niceish place, but they haven't kept it up as well as it should be...and it's not OURS.

I still keep thinking 'maybe one day, somehow', but I really don't know how.
post #16 of 57
We live in a 3 bdr apartment amidst mini- mansions in a very well off neighborhood. I think we've got the best deal. We get the best schools and amenities and live cozy & simply. Also we can afford to have weekly cleaners. That's all I care about.

Oh yea--- and my family owns big homes. We go over and enjoy. Then come home and enjoy. It's all good.
post #17 of 57
OP, I just want to say, I really, really get this. And I do think it is totally normal to feel that twinge, especially when you feel like you are working really hard, and other people, well, don't seem to have it that hard.

In the case of DH and I, his family is loaded. All of them. SIL in particular, and her husband, live in one of the most expensive areas in the U.S. and still have an incredible home on a golf course, etc.They do not have debt. They make loads of money. BIL never went to college. His dad got him a great job in his early 20's and he has excelled at it. This makes my DH quite jealous because he is currently getting his masters and we are flat broke.

FIL & MIL are also loaded, and move every couple of years to whichever beautiful place they like best.

Here's the kicker though. They DO look down on us. They actually have told DH that he is a loser. SIL too. They all do. Even his aunts and uncles.

But here is the thing that I ultimately come around to. IL's are constantly on the verge of divorce. DN and the cousins are always running wild and seem like such insecure, demanding kids. None of them seem to have a good grip on what's really important. They all base their own self worth on their houses and cars and clothes and purses!

DH and I, on the other hand, love each other and our son dearly and above all else we have each other, and we have our faith in God. So maybe we just have one car and they all have BMW's. Maybe we can't take luxurious vacations and maybe we live in a tiny house compared to them, and we just rent it. BUT WE HAVE EACH OTHER. And somehow, that's worth more than the big beautiful house.

Which is not to say I don't still hold out hope that one day we will also have a beautiful place with plenty of space for my son (and hopefully future kids too). It's just that I have to focus on the GOOD things in our lives, which are not material things.

Good luck OP. I know it is really hard, especially when it seems totally unfair.
post #18 of 57
My small house was built in 1937. Most of my siblings have huge new houses. I know how you feel!!

Just keep reminding yourself that your mortgage is (hopefully) lower than theirs!!
post #19 of 57
This is maybe a little zany of an idea, but what's an internet forum for, after all.... OP, is the main issue that you are self-conscious, or do you actually really like big houses? If you actually would enjoy having a bigger house, have you considered moving to an area with a lower cost of living? There are some areas where salaries are not much lower than average, if you have a job, but where the housing prices are quite low. If you and/ or your DH could find a situation like that, would that be nice for you?
post #20 of 57
I have a larger home. I have to admit, I love it. I grew up poor and homeless at times, and it wasn't so much the size that made me fall in love, it was just the layout and the fact that everything has a place...or should were we tidier. Plus our home has room to grow through the many stages of our lives. Did we work harder than anyone else? Not necessarily, we did work hard, but we also had great opportunities and made some good choices and had some good luck thrown in the mixture.

Really, I don't care about what other people have, it's not a big deal. The way I grew up, what you have, even if it's a miniscule amount, you share it, so my house is often filled with friends and family dropping in.


If people are looking down on you because of material goods, then I wouldn't have those folks in my life. I spent a great deal of my life being looked down on by family and folks because we were so poor and lived in the "ghetto" I wouldn't tolerate that kind of nonsense now.

If I'm feeling a little green because someone has a nicer this or cooler that, then that's my thing and I have to own it and put it into perspective.
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